Getting started in woodworking

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Blog entry by ZVan posted 03-12-2014 11:30 PM 1171 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After being intersted in woodworking for a very long time (thanks Norm!), I’m finally getting started myself. I dont have any machines to assist me in my hobby, so I am trying out my hand at using hand tools. Here’s the equipment I currently have at my disposal: a small pull saw, a No. 4 bench plane (Buck Brothers), a Stanley block plane, a chisel set (an entry level set), a folding Craftsman bench and a set of Norton waterstones (the only quality equipment I currently have).

Unfortunately, due to where I currently live, I dont have access to anything but the BORGs, so my selection of hand tools is very limited. On top of that, I dont have a very ‘traditional’ workspace. I dont have a garage, basement, or dedicated shop space to use, so I currently am working in a spare bedroom in my house.

To me, nothing says craftsmanship quite like handcut dovetails. So, thats where I’m planning on starting. I stated by making a dovetail marking gauge tool based on the Paul Sellers design. I got a decent amount of scrap red oak from work so I made the gauge from that. I’m satisfied with it. Its far from perfect, but it will serve its purpose. I want to put a finish on it before I upload a picture but I havent decided on what to use yet.

Thats it for now I guess.

6 comments so far

View TerryDowning's profile


1077 posts in 2113 days

#1 posted 03-12-2014 11:42 PM

Welcome to the madness.

My workshop was my living room for 2 years. All small hand tools and NO work bench (Except the coffee table)
Made a couple of boxes to hold the tools and such I still have these and still use them.
Made a hand carved chess set fro my son and various and sundry other small items.

Small flush trimming back saw (Still have and use)
Nobex 110 miter box (Still have and use)
small block plane
some carving knives (Still have and use)
a portable vice (Still have and use)
some riffler files and rasps(Still have and use)

that was about it.

The good thing about tools is that keep for a long time.

-- - Terry

View Lynn Bradford.'s profile

Lynn Bradford.

71 posts in 1858 days

#2 posted 03-13-2014 12:13 AM

Welcome to the world of splinters and bent nails! Never say “All I have…”, because there are people with less, but a passion as big as all get out. That, is all that counts.
Be careful of the eletists out there. They’ll dampen your enthusiasm by boasting about their whatever. You are cllose to eBay, since you must have a computef. Get Feedly and start following some good blogs. You can’t go wrong with Paul Sellers. I enjoy his videos. From the blogs, keep an eye out for the honorable mention of a book or two, find them used on Amazon or even eBay. Google even turns them up in pdf. The old ones at least.
You’ll do fine so long as you don’t weaken.

If I can be of some help, drop me a nlte with your questions.

-- Lynn Bradford | Indiana | A poor excuse is better than none.

View NormG's profile


6111 posts in 2999 days

#3 posted 03-13-2014 12:17 AM

Congrats and welcome, purchase as needed and when space become available

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Bigrock's profile


292 posts in 2958 days

#4 posted 03-13-2014 12:37 AM

Glad you will soon have FUN.
You may have to do like most of us do for tools and supplies. Go to the internet. Them get the best price you can. Order by phone or on the Web. You may find it cheaper this way than traveling to a store.
No, you can not touch the tools. When a woodworking show comes close go, you would be surprise what you will learn.
If you are married go to a large city where you can take your spouse and you both can go shopping and make it a nice weekend getaway.

View TraylorPark's profile


212 posts in 1594 days

#5 posted 03-13-2014 01:42 AM

Welcome and enjoy the new hobby. If you are concerned about the selection of tools at the box stores search out alternatives. I have had good luck with finding vintage user planes on ebay. I’ve gotten a good No 7, 6, and 3 for a total of less than $50. But be careful it’s slippery slope and soon you’ll find yourself searching and bidding on them all the time. Enjoy!

-- --Zach

View ZVan's profile


2 posts in 1532 days

#6 posted 03-13-2014 06:01 PM

Thanks for the warm welcome all. I didnt expect so many comments!

Terry – I’m glad to see I’m not the only one that started out this way.

WodDawg – I didn’t intend to come of sounding ungrateful for what I have, because that isn’t the case. I am mainly using this blog to keep a diary of sorts for my journey on woodworking and I felt it was necessary to document the toolsI started with. And regarding boks, I hate to admit it, but my book collection has doubled in size thanks to the addition of all the woodworking books I have recently purchased.

Bigrock and Taylor – I didnt mean to imply that I dont use the internet for purchasing tools. On the contrary. My sharpening stone set I ordered from Peachtree and they’re great! The dilema that I face is that I curently live in Fairbanks, AK. What I have discovered is that most internet companies that offer free shipping, don’t offer that if you live in Alaska. Thats not to say a good deal cant be had, i just have to be more selective about what makes it a ‘good deal’.

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